Morning Reads

Good morning! On this date in 1868, the 14th Amendment, which guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law, was officially adopted as part of the US Constitution. It would take close to a century of fighting to make that promise a reality.

What a mess –> John Kerry has been slammed from all sides for his attempts to broker a ceasefire in Gaza. Chemi Shalev reports for Ha’aretz that the Obama administration is pushing back against Israeli officials’ complaints and ramping up pressure to stop the fighting. BUT: At 972 MagazineLarry Derfner explains why the Israeli government “won’t sign any ceasefire that’s fair.” AND: One reason he doesn’t mention: A Jerusalem Post poll finds that 86 percent of Israelis oppose a ceasefire.  ALSO: At The Nation, Noura Erakat offers “Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked.”

Sounds good, but… –> MoJo’s Stephanie Mencimer writes that Paul Ryan’s new anti-poverty plan would be prohibitively expensive and also would require the kind of government intrusion conservatives despise. AND Slate’s Jamelle Bouie isn’t convinced that poor people need a life coach — he calls the plan “paternalistic.”

Wild East –> A federal judge ruled on Saturday that DC’s ban on openly carried handguns is unconstitutional.

A shadow party that’s effectively impossible to dislodge” –> Ashley Parker reports for The New York Times that outside groups are spending $2 billion to influence this year’s midterms, “accelerating the rise of moneyed interests and wresting control from the candidates’ own efforts to reach voters.”

Lost decade –> Sam Frizell reports for Time that “the typical American household is worth a third less than it was in 2003.”

Sellouts –> At The Republic Report, Lee Fang writes that deep-pocketed industry lobbyists have bought off persuaded a number of leading civil rights groups to oppose Net neutrality.

Another side to the Koch brothers –> At Salon, Asher Elbein looks at David Koch’s longstanding obsession with paleontology.

Boko Haram –> The militant Islamist group based in Nigeria crossed the border into Cameroon, killed several people and kidnapped the wife of Cameroon’s deputy prime minister, according to AFP.

A new layer of mystery” –> Matt Apuzzo reports for The New York Times that the Justice Department is going to unusual lengths to shield donors to a prominent “anti-Iran group.”

Not alive and not dead –> Medical researchers are freezing patients with what would have been mortal wounds to give doctors more time to repair the damage. The New Republic’s Judith Shulevitz interrogates the philosophical implications of the existence of a new state somewhere between life and death.

Cruel and unusual –> Shannon Greenwood reports for ThinkProgress that a state lawmaker in Florida wants to force all school children to watch Dinesh D’Souza’s latest piece of agitprop, America.

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